Payments

Two fashion business founders on why BNPL was right for their brands

At NYFW, Retail Brew spoke to two smaller brands on the customer demographic Afterpay has helped them tap into
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Francis Scialabba

· 3 min read

For luxury retailers, buy now, pay later (BNPL) has become a run-of-the-mill way to help brands attract a younger set of consumers, who are otherwise unable to afford higher priced goods.

  • In a survey of 7,024 American consumers conducted by Pymnts, six out of 10 said they have previously heard of BNPL, while at least 14% have used it.

But the benefits are not as crystal clear for small- to medium-sized fashion brands. At New York Fashion Week (NYFW), Retail Brew spoke to two brands who have partnered with Afterpay on why the payment solution makes sense for their strategy.

Jenny Lei, founder of Freja New York, a vegan handbag label

Why was BNPL right for your brand?

We try to price our bags as accessibly as possible, but they are still an investment. Our most popular bag is about $250 to $350. So Afterpay was something that we knew we wanted to implement, even before launching our website, to give the customers an option — 11% of our customers pay using Afterpay, and I think we probably would have lost a good number of those if we didn’t have any sort of website.

What customer demographic is BNPL helping you tap into?

Since we’re positioned as a work-bag brand, I know a lot of our customers personally reach out to me and they say, ‘Hey Jenny, I am just graduating from school, and I’m getting a bag for my first job.’ Obviously, it’s a big commitment, a big investment. We want people to be really thoughtful about their purchases. And I think Afterpay does give them the opportunity to buy the bag they want but not with such a financial burden, especially if it’s their first paycheck. I do think some more sustainable options do tend to cost a little bit more upfront.

Marcela Ponce, co-founder and creative director of Demarson, a New York-based accessories label

Why was BNPL right for your brand?

We’re still a small company, and our price point is about $100 to $400. I definitely think that Afterpay helps with [a chunk] of our sales. I feel like not every website and or every big name out there has service like ours. So I like Afterpay. It is definitely something that is going to be the norm. It could be great just on your phone to be able to have an Afterpay card that you can just tap. That would be pretty cool.

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What customer demographic is BNPL helping you tap into?

It was important for the business to have Afterpay as a partner to acquire younger consumers and it has been extremely successful. We have definitely seen the return there. About 30% to 40% of our customers use Afterpay, which is pretty high. And we love it because that way we can reach a bigger audience, and it [helps us reach] more customers in general, not just not just the younger demographic, and I think it has to help us to grow our business in general.—JS

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